The impact of the lockdown on our mental health

Seeking help: being kind to ourselves and others

Mental health awareness
Impact of coronavirus on our mental health

President Robert Kennedy once said 'these are interesting times we are living in". That was a quote from the 1960's and I think the words "strange and deeply concerning" could now be added to the quote to describe what we are currently going through.

Never has our generation experienced such a devastating and destabilising time as what we are living through right now. Every day the Government reports further deaths from COVID19 and many of us are worried not only for ourselves but also for those who we love and care for.

Everyone has been affected and the impact of the virus will be felt for many years to come. The effect it has been having and continuing to have on our mental health has been brought into sharp focus.

The isolation that many of us have felt, being away from those we love has been difficult to manage and tolerate. At the other end of the spectrum are those who are having to live together, sometimes in less than ideal situations with little chance of getting out and having the social contact that many of us crave and need to function in a mentally healthy way.
Many of us will have experienced feelings of loneliness, anxiety, depression. There is no shame attached to having those feelings and many professionals would argue that they are perfectly understandable given the circumstances we are currently living in. The importance of having someone to share how you feel and having a person to sometimes just simply listen to you is priceless and can be far better than any medicine.

But, there are those who were struggling with their mental health long before the lockdown restrictions were put into place and those situations do need to be addressed with professional advice and support, which could mean going into hospital. This is often the last option to consider but very often a necessity for those individuals who need treatment.
Technology is often criticised for the negative impact it can have on our lives and that of our children, however throughout this crisis it has brought people together and has been a forum for people to speak, listen and see each other and that can be such a positive thing when we are told to isolate and socially distance.

Our understanding of mental health and the complexities that it encompasses has moved on in leaps and bounds in the UK. Our children are encouraged to talk about their feelings and how their mental health is, and as adults it is now not considered a weakness to admit that we may be struggling mentally.

As a result of better understanding there is now social acceptance that by saying "I'm not feeling OK", "I'm struggling" or "I need someone to talk to or listen" than there is help and advice out there whether you are the person who is feeling that way, or you may be a loved one with concerns, a friend or neighbour.

One thing that has come out from all this is that we can and should be there for one another, and being aware of our mental health and that of others is a strength that can help us adapt for the future. If you need legal advice for yourself or a loved one, please contact our Mental Health Team on 01733 882800 or email info@hcsolicitors.co.uk.

Author: Richard Boucher, Senior Associate

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This article has been prepared for general interest and information purposes only; it does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. While all possible care has been taken in the preparation of this article, no responsibility for the accuracy and/or correctness of the information and commentary set out in the article, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed or accepted by the firm or the authors.